Do Species Suddenly Change? Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 24, 2021 0 comments


by Steve Risner

Last time, we started talking about a specific strawman that an unbeliever posed as an irritant to him. Likewise, I detest strawman arguments. They are a waste of everyone’s time and either show a lack of understanding of the topic or a deception designed to mislead. Either way, they’re not good. We’ve been wading through a post I found in an online group that discusses creation and evolution. In this post, the author (an unbeliever) gave advice to creationists on things to avoid doing — preaching, circular reasoning, ad hominem attacks, and strawman arguments. He then detailed 5 examples of strawman arguments that he thinks are used too often by creationists. I believe their use at all is too often. However, when we look at them, we find that these strawman arguments are interesting.

The first was the “It’s only a theory“ argument. We discussed why this isn’t true; evolution (meaning universal common descent) doesn’t actually qualify as a scientific study let alone a theory. Then we began looking at “One species jumped to another species.” I attempted to set the stage last week for this but will revisit the beginning here to catch us all up:

A SPECIES CANNOT SUDDENLY CHANGE INTO ANOTHER SPECIES. True, but evolution never says that this happens; evolution progresses in tiny step changes over eons of time.

This is, according to him, a strawman. I agree. But his explanation is too good an opportunity to pass up. We’ve been setting the table for “evolution progresses in tiny step changes over eons of time.” Without saying it, he’s referring to universal common descent—the idea that all the diversity we see in biology can trace its ancestry back to a simple, single-celled organism from billions of years ago. As stated, I can’t argue with him as he states it. Over long periods of time, organisms will change slightly due to variation, degenerative mutations, epigenetics, population isolation, genetic drift, etc. But the issue is that these things happen within a kind of organism. There is no allowance for transitions from one kind to another. In other words, fish are always fish; amphibians are always amphibians; reptiles are always reptiles, etc. You get the idea.

We don’t see any explanatory power in the general theory of evolution for the emergence of new information coded to generate new anatomy and physiology. We see variety or degenerative changes. We actually see a reduction of available traits generally rather than an increase in them. That’s how natural selection works. This is the part evolutionists will say is not random—that selection works on those most fit for survival. But in reality, selection reduces the number of expressed traits in a population.

Here’s a fictitious example: there were white and brown bears in an area. The environment changed to make it advantageous for white bears to survive but brown bears had a harder time. Over time there are no brown bears. There are only white bears. So, the population that once had 2 fur colors now has only one—less variety. That’s how selection works. It doesn’t create the change. It just allows for the change to be seen in a population because, over time, one trait may be extinguished while another may increase. But it had nothing to do with generating the change.

So, do we see a fossil record full of transitions? No. Do we see transitions at all? No. Not really at all. There are two reasons that this might be: the first is the fossil record is incomplete and while it contains about 250,000 different species both extinct and extant it may not have the transitions we’re looking for. What’s interesting here is that evolutionists will say that evolution occurs so slowly we can’t see it happening (which we know is false because we’ve seen rapid changes in very short time periods), but then they turn around and say it happens so quickly the fossil record can’t capture it. The other option is that evolution from simple, single-celled organisms to “higher” forms of life like mammals including humans never happened. I find that much more likely given what we know about biology, geology, and the like.

Darwin’s Origin of Species spent no time sharing evidence from the fossil record for his ideas. In fact, all he ever mentioned with the fossil record was how it did not demonstrate his ideas. That’s interesting, right? It’s completely silent on the most important clue giving evidence for universal common descent. So, if this unbeliever who has shared this strawman argument with me is correct, why can’t we see any evidence for “tiny step changes over eons of time”? It’s true fossilization doesn’t always happen, but surely, we’d see something. The truth is, when a new organism is found in the fossil record it is almost always very easily classified as this or that.

What this means is there are 2 very important truths we actually can observe when it comes to the fossil record: species abruptly appear with no transitions linking them to some common ancestor, and stasis is the rule. This means we don’t have evidence of things changing over time found in the fossil record. Organisms show up suddenly and don’t change, as a rule. This doesn’t sound like “tiny step changes over eons of time.” In fact, it doesn’t sound like things change a whole lot over time. This is one of the funny things about universal common descent. It predicts that things will change over time in small steps unless that’s not what happens. Then it predicts stasis or a lack of change. In reality, it predicts neither of these things but accommodates them. However, again, this post isn’t about that. Let’s continue looking at “tiny step changes over eons of time” and how there is literally no evidence for such things.

There is, in fact, so little to be found to support such an idea that attempts have been made to rationalize continued belief in this origins myth. Dr. Stephen Gould, famed evolutionist and one of the most notable in the last 50 years, came up with punctuated equilibrium. Punctuated equilibrium suggests that organisms remain unchanged for long periods of time until some stressor causes them to rapidly undergo a change that often results in one species becoming two distinct species. This, apparently, happens so quickly that it’s untraceable in the fossil record. This is despite the fact that it’s had to have happened many millions of times to give us the biodiversity we see today and in the fossil record.

This is another great example of evolutionists talking out of both sides of their mouths and/or a bait and switch. Many will say, as the unbeliever does who is the source of this strawman protest, that evolution is a slow and gradual process taking place over many millions of years. However, what they don’t say is that nothing in reality bears this out, so they actually believe evolution happens rapidly, but changes are offset by gaps in time. Since Darwin’s theory, if he were correct, would have yielded many millions of transition fossils and we don’t see anything remotely like that, they’ve come up with punctuated equilibrium or something similar as a rescuing device.

Universal common descent is an enigma. It’s a myth. It happens so slowly that we cannot see it happening, but it also happens so quickly that the fossil record can’t catch it in the act. This means the only places to see it—the past or the present—have no ability to do so. If this isn’t blind faith in an idea that has few if any scientific qualities, I don’t know what is. Darwin, in the Origin of Species, said “the gravest objection which can be urged against my theory” was the lack of transition fossils. Many have tried to explain it away but critically thinking people can see through the gobbledygook.

Yes, saying one species doesn’t suddenly become another is a strawman… but not really since the rapid changes that must have taken place happened so quickly they couldn’t be caught by the fossil record. Even though Darwin himself said that “one species does change into another” as we saw in my last post, most evolutionists don’t believe that… but they do. This is why, while universal common descent doesn’t really predict much at all, it accommodates whatever we find. It’s rather confusing to follow them because they go in circles so much. We discussed circular reasoning not long ago. This is more of circular thinking—they believe something but also not that. They say something happens but don’t believe that it does but also do believe that it does. It’s the beauty of a theory so na├»ve only those far too intelligent for us “religious folks” could believe it.

None of this matters, really, in the scheme of it all. No one has produced a mechanism that accounts for the addition of new genetic information that can code for new anatomy and physiology. There is no known way for this to happen in nature. In fact, I will say that since coded information, especially coded information that is so vastly complex, cannot come about through some natural process, it must come from a mind. That mind, due to the vast complexities of living things, must be unknowably intelligent. That’s our God! He’s created life and systems so immensely complicated we still don’t know the half of it. He created life, giving it the ability to adapt and have variety which gives a great deal of survival advantage. Who can know the mind of God? Who can understand His wisdom?

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